The death of Korryn Gaines after a seven-hour standoff with Baltimore County police at her Randallstown apartment poses a real challenge to a department that has made pointed efforts during the last two years to prevent the kind of racial tension between law enforcement and the community that has boiled over nationwide. Thankfully, the protests that have followed her fatal shooting by a county officer have been peaceful, but they are not going away, and they are not confined to those who share Gaines’ extreme views.
The questions posed to the department this week by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, centering on police’s evolving accounts of what happened that day and the department’s decision to withhold the name of the officer who fired the fatal shots, are entirely legitimate. In general, the department has been quick to release information about this case as it is gathered, erring on the side of providing details immediately even if they might later be revised by subsequent investigation. That’s as it should be. But the unique nature of this case requires a new level of transparency.
Read the full op-ed here.